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Trump's US Immigration Suspension: Can I Still Petition for a US Visa?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the recently-announced suspension of US Immigration announced by President Trump and the implications of this with respect to those who are looking to file for a Visa. 

Most of the cases we deal with here in Bangkok are family-based cases so we are dealing with Fiance Visas, Marriage Visas, Stepchildren Visas, Visas for children for whom their citizenship to the United States was not automatically conferred perhaps by the US citizen parent and children of Lawful Permanent Residents. We see a lot of these cases so family-based immigration. 

Let me be clear and preface the rest of this video. We are making this before the Executive Order has actually been promulgated. It is after Trump announced it but we have yet to actually see the terms or the actual written document of the Executive Order itself so that remains to be seen. So as of the time of this video, we don't yet know exactly what is at issue here. I am going to read a quote soon, but first I just want to talk conceptually about the difference between a Visa being issued and a Visa being sought. 

So notwithstanding the fact that Trump may have placed a moratorium on the issuance of in this case Immigrant Visas that might confer a green card or lawful permanent residence, or has placed a moratorium on those adjusting to Immigrant status in the United States or adjusting to what is called lawful permanent residence, it does not necessarily mean that a case cannot be filed and in fact notwithstanding the fact I haven't seen the Executive Order, I am fairly confident in stating that I expect it will still be possible to file those kind of cases. One, I don't think that they can preclude petitioning for anything. Now they can deny or delay it but you can ask; in a conceptual sense you can always ask the question, "can this person come to the United States"?  "Can we get a green card for this person?" but that doesn't necessarily mean they are going to do it. They may delay it or they could deny it but it doesn't preclude asking for it. So I think it is still definitely possible cases will be filed and clearly approvable cases I don't necessarily think will be adversely impacted by this much past delay. I think delay may be the worst. For example somebody seeking an Immigrant Spouse Visa, IR-1 visa, for example they are wanting to bring their spouse back from Thailand amidst this COVID-19 issue and they want to go ahead and petition for that Immigrant Visa benefit. I think it is going to be possible even after this Executive Order comes online to file that case but if you were coming up for interview, this Executive Order may preclude that case from seeing it's Visa issued. 

Now that stated, in a recent article from the Daily Wire, the, the article is titled: Trump says Immigration Freeze will Last 2 Months, Reveals New Details. Quoting further: "According to Politico, a source "familiar" with the situation indicated that the Executive Order will not apply to healthcare workers seeking green cards or people with  "nuclear family" members inside the United States. So that could be an American spouse inside the United States petitioning for  for example a Thai spouse here out of Bangkok. Quoting further: "The specifics of the "nuclear family" exemption are unclear. The New York Times reports and they are quoting New York Times now: “American citizens seeking to bring their children or spouses to the United States would still be allowed to do so which suggests that the exemption could be limited to them." So it remains to be seen how fiancées are going to get treated by this. I think fiancées may end up “threading the needle” if you will in so far as the policy seems geared toward employment-based immigration. It seems that family-based immigration at least "nuclear family" based immigration is going to be exempted under this and to be clear a K-1 Visa does not confer a green card. A K-1 Visa is actually a Non-immigrant Visa technically, notwithstanding the fact it is what is called a dual intent visa and allows the Visa holder to travel to the United States with the intention of emigrating after getting married and applying for adjustment of status. 

So I think again as of the time of this video, that the K-1 is going to kind of “thread the needle” and not be adversely impacted by this announcement. It remains to be seen and we will certainly update this channel as things progressed. 

For now, the thing to take away from this video is yes I believe we can still file cases notwithstanding this recent Executive Order and it remains to be seen whether this Executive Order is enjoined. The Courts may and I will do another video on that actually. The Courts may decide to enjoin this Executive Order and say look you know we don't agree with this and basically forestall the President and more importantly the agencies associated with Immigration from enacting this order. Again that remains to be seen and the order actually has to be promulgated in order for the injunction to be to be filed and ultimately if it is approved by a Judge, to enforce an injunction. Again all of that remains to be seen. The thing to take away from this video, notwithstanding this announcement I do think it is still going to be able to be possible to continue to file a petition especially for family-based immigration benefits moving forward.